Look beyond today

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The current drought has made this the U.S. Department of Agriculture's worst natural disaster season — ever. Last year's horde of tornadoes made it the most destructive season — ever. The severity falls in line with the predictions of climate scientists, whom many of our elected officials chose to ignore.

When the consequences are so dire, why the refusal to take action? I see three possibilities:

1. Some have an aversion to change at a neurological level; it is to be avoided.

2. In the short term, changing course costs more than maintaining the status quo. Electability is based on short-term results. If inaction causes the price of everything to go up in someone else's term, that's their problem.

3. The need to appease corporate sponsors.

The first point is about leadership. Anyone not equipped to steer away from potential disaster is not worthy to lead.

The second point adds an element of selfishness: being re-elected, no matter the potential cost to every living thing.

The third point now sadly seems to be blandly expected of every politician: outright corruption.

Change is inevitable; electing non-leaders is not. When you visit the polls this November, please consider beyond today.

Jim Hayes

Salt Lake City